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Planning Next Year’s Marketing Budget: Things to Remember

It’s that most stressful time of the year again…the holiday season? Nope – I mean planning for the marketing budget! As you look ahead to 2020 and plan your financial needs, stop and take a moment to consider those easily-forgotten expenses that you might have missed last year, but that can easily add up!

Marketing Budget Items to Remember

  • Website maintenance: It’s important to keep your CMS (content management system) core and any site plugins up-to-date. This helps keeps your site secure and running smoothly, with no bugs.
  • Non-traditional/digital advertising: You’ve created a beautiful, shiny new website that looks great and provides all the information your customers need. Now you need to get people there – by paying to advertise your site and drive visitors there. Chances are, you’re going to be way behind if you’re not prioritizing measures such as pay-per-click and social media advertising in your budget. 64.6 percent of people click on Google ads when they’re looking to buy something online, and with U.S. social network ad spending expected to surpass $21 billion this year, your efforts might be fruitless if you’re not willing to pay for visibility.
  • Stock images: Most stock photo sites are subscription-based. But the highest quality (and most rare: read, you won’t see them on every company’s content) images often come with additional costs. If you want your visual content to stick out, invest in these premium images.
  • Custom photography: Sometimes stock photos aren’t enough. Are your products a showcase item? Does stock photography not ring true in your industry? Remember to plan ahead for any custom photography you may need. Whether it’s of products, solutions, locations or even key staff.
  • Custom fonts: It’s a hard truth – paid fonts tend to be of much nicer quality than free ones. Be sure to plan for any specialty fonts you may need outside of your brand’s standard font. Remember that for any font, you technically aren’t allowed to package and pass back and forth across internal teams to vendors or printers – every division must purchase their own copy.
  • Miscellaneous: It’s useful to have a “miscellaneous” category – or even just a line item under another category – for unforeseen expenses. Plan for unexpected circumstances in your budget now. Avoid scrambling to handle them later on.

Review Last Year’s Budget

There may also be items specific to your company or strategy that you’ll want to make space for in your budget. You can narrow down these areas of interest by reviewing your 2019 budget. Determine the ROI on each item to figure what you should invest more dollars in. It’s also important to think about your targeted areas of growth; make sure your budget reflects these so you can achieve that growth this coming year.

Finally, as you plan your year, remember to factor in opportunity cost. This is an economic term for the hidden costs of trade-offs. You might save money by skipping that industry conference – but, you might lose in the long term by missing out on valuable information or contacts you could have made. Or another example: if you choose to save money upfront and print your business cards on your home printer, you might save $75-100, but there’s an opportunity cost of having a card that looks less than professional – and that’s hard to value.

Still searching for how to get the most out of your marketing budget in 2020? The AAC team can help answer any questions you may have.

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